Gary Gnade
Director, 2019 Chamber Board of Directors

Gary opened Gnade Insurance Group in 1988 after an 8-year career with Prudential Insurance selling Life and Health Insurance. By creating Gnade Insurance Group, Gary was able to offer all lines of insurance, such as, Auto, Home, Life, Health Insurance along with all types of Business Insurance. Gnade Insurance Group offers their customers the best coverages, the best pricing and an opportunity to be insured with many of the top insurance carriers in the industry.

Over the years, Gary has grown Gnade Insurance from a one-man operation to its current status of 28 employees with two locations; one in downtown Frankfort, IL and a new office in Dubuque, IA.

When Gary isn’t busy with the business, he enjoys spending time with his family. He has four sons, two of whom work at the agency with him. He particularly loves to spend time with his 10 grandchildren. When Gary is not working or with the family, he likes to spend time either at the gym, playing tennis or golfing.

5-minute Q & A
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
Boat Captain 

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Work out 

What is your favorite sport?
Golf and Tennis 

What one food do you wish had zero calories?
Pizza

Where would you like to travel?
Maine



Jeremy Kalisz
2019 Artisan Parking Chair
Seven years ago, I decided to volunteer for the Frankfort Fall Fest through Key Club in High School to help with artisan parking and break-down of the Fest. Six years ago, I decided that I wanted to directly volunteer with the Chamber since those two shifts were so much fun.

Three years ago, I was asked to join the Fall Fest Committee as the Artisan Parking Chair. Over these last seven years, I have volunteered in multiple areas of the Fest and grown an appreciation for what goes into the Fest in order to make it successful. I have also met so many wonderful and dedicated volunteers that have become friends to me.

I received my Associates in Arts from Moraine Valley Community College and transferred to Illinois State University where I currently am a Senior. I will graduate from ISU in Spring 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Design and Production.

My current goals career-wise include going on tour across the United States for a couple of years before finding a full-time job somewhere. In my free time, when I am not working in theatre, I usually am spending time with friends or relaxing at home.

5-minute Q & A

Tell us three things that most people don’t know about you. 
1. Every morning when I wake up, I start with a cup of coffee.  
2. Some of my favorite snacks include kettle popcorn, chips, cheese sticks, chocolate, and gummy bears. 
3. Two of my favorite hobbies are fishing and photography/videography, which I haven’t been recently doing and really need to bring back when I have free time.

Three words that best describe you:
Dedicated, patient, and adaptable. 

Top three life highlights?
The last two years I have attended the USITT national conference which is the conference for those in technical theatre to attend classes and talk with others in the industry. Not only has it been great to be able to learn more about new developments in the theatre industry, but I also have been able to travel to other states where the conference is being held.

Going to college at Moraine Valley and getting my Associates Degree there. This has allowed me to grow into a better theatre technician by working in their theatre department. Also, by attending community college it cost significantly less to attend classes, allowed me to stay at home while working and attending classes, and provided me with my general education requirements I needed when transferring. I highly recommend attending a community college for the first two years and getting the degree if you plan to go to college.

As many of you may recall, the 2018 Fall Fest was a very rainy weekend and there is only one area of the Fest that suffers when it constantly rains--Artisan Parking. I would never have thought that pushing cars out on Monday night at Fest close would have been so much fun. The reason that it was so much fun, was because of the team of volunteers that came to my rescue to help push people out. That Monday all of the hundreds of cars and trailers got out of the lot, but not without turning it into something that would be seen in a mudding competition. Only five out of the hundreds of cars were too far dug in and needed to be pulled out by a tow truck that night. This will forever be one of my favorite Fall Fest memories.

What do you like most about your job?
What I love most about working in technical theatre is the collaborative aspect that everyone brings into a production to make it successful. This collaborative aspect creates a community where it is easy to make new friends and move into another production with new people. Also, the fact that no two days of working in theatre are the same and doing something new and creative each day makes going to work everyday enjoyable. Lastly, the amount of different skills that I have learned and continue to learn in the different areas have made me more rounded in this career and appreciative of what everyone brings to the production.

What is on your bucket list?
Visit all 50 states and also travel abroad in my life time. Create a tradition with my family or close friends. See more plays and musicals along with reading more plays and listening to more musicals. Attend more concerts of artists that I like.